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Old Yesterday, 06:20 PM
 
8 posts, read 44 times
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Yes, I know it's June. And yes Halloween will suck this year (thanks Covid!). But assuming the pandemic apocalypse doesn't end civilization as we know it, I have a question...

I'm moving back to Austin after a few years away, having lived here off and on from the early 90's through 2011. We are definitely a Halloween family and have been spoiled for the last decade living in places that really seem to go all out for Halloween. The schools actually put on haunted houses, and hundreds of kids trick or treat - after dark if you can imagine!

I remember what Halloween was like growing up in Texas, i.e. it sucked. (Why are we out doing this at 4pm? In the sun? Wait Mom, WTF kind of BS is a Trunk or Treat?)

So my question is, are there any neighborhoods in the Austin Metro area that actually seem to make a big deal of Halloween? Like a Candycane Lane, but with Zombies? I know, it's a stupid reason to pick an area to buy a house in, but like I said, we're Halloween people. My kids are almost too old to trick or treat, but I'd really like to decorate or even do a small haunted house. It seems pointless though if no one is out trick or treating.

Also, I'm really looking at the Anderson High School or Bowie High areas. Any thoughts on those schools? Or if there's an existing thread you could point me to, I'd appreciate it. I've looked, but I didn't see any that talked specifically about them. Most are general "What schools here don't suck?" questions.

Thanks.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
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Lots of threads on Anderson and Bowie. However, recall they’re on opposite sides of the district. Austin has changed even in the five years I’ve been here and traffic from one to the other is horrid, even at non-peak times (I’ve done it several times). Halloween? There’s a house on the 3m marathon tour that’s known as as the “spider tree,” but that’s all I know.
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 PM
 
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northwest hills (anderson high) around waterline has hundreds if not a thousand kids in a few block radius. There are a few haunted houses and lots of decorations.

I think there are 2 haunted houses and a harry potter house.

A few houses have yoga skeletons that change poses each day. One yard on mesa has a ton of horror villains that people complain about.

here is one example
http://rocknrealty.net/northwest-hills-halloween-house/



Keep in mind with so many kids people are stingy with candy.
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Old Yesterday, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
13,522 posts, read 30,054,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
[...]

Keep in mind with so many kids people are stingy with candy.
Really? I seem to find the opposite to be true - the really busy areas have more stuff.

Anyway, we have somewhere from 150 to 300 people come by our house on Halloween. Probably 50% of the houses are participating on our block-loop, but could be more or less, I have never really tried to count. Of those participating, probably 75% are out in the driveway instead of inside. Some get elaborate, some not, but it is a great block party. A couple houses set grills up in the driveway and make hotdogs or hamburgers for people, and a few more hand out 'adult' beverages to the parents .

No idea what it will look like this year.....
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Old Today, 05:30 AM
 
6,803 posts, read 12,177,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
Really? I seem to find the opposite to be true - the really busy areas have more stuff.

Anyway, we have somewhere from 150 to 300 people come by our house on Halloween. Probably 50% of the houses are participating on our block-loop, but could be more or less, I have never really tried to count. Of those participating, probably 75% are out in the driveway instead of inside. Some get elaborate, some not, but it is a great block party. A couple houses set grills up in the driveway and make hotdogs or hamburgers for people, and a few more hand out 'adult' beverages to the parents .

No idea what it will look like this year.....
In areas with fewer kids, people are just trying to get rid of candy. Kids can take a few handfuls and there are no lines. In areas with hundreds if not a thousand kids, your kids might have to wait in line behind 20 other kids and your kids might get one mini.

For example we have almost no kids and we leave a bowl out. Typically 4-5 groups of kids will empty the entire bowl.
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Old Today, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
In areas with fewer kids, people are just trying to get rid of candy. Kids can take a few handfuls and there are no lines. In areas with hundreds if not a thousand kids, your kids might have to wait in line behind 20 other kids and your kids might get one mini.

For example we have almost no kids and we leave a bowl out. Typically 4-5 groups of kids will empty the entire bowl.
I can't say I have canvassed the town or anything, but 300 kids spread over two and a half hours or so doesn't cause any significant 'line'. Every couple of minutes a group of, say, two to six kids will come up. Since we are in the driveway there is no knocking or answer, so they come up, 'trick or treat', we drop in candy, they say thank you, and skip away to the next house. Many kids skip houses where they 'have to' knock, or get 'overloaded' before they finish the block, so by the end of the night houses are dumping their excess into the later kids' bags.

Two blocks over, it is not a 'halloween' street - I guess it kind of naturally develops that there is a nexus block for a certain block area, I don't know - and you would have a hard time finding 5 or 10 houses on a street that are handing out candy. Maybe they give you a whole bag, I couldn't say, but my kids have their fill on just a fraction of the potential houses on our block.

Anyway, everyone that is handing out candy buys a crap-load and the problem we always seem to have is the kids getting too much....

A few people do the 'leave the bowl out', especially as the night wears down, and I suspect most kids take one or two and then a single group or two cleans it out.
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Old Today, 09:59 AM
 
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I ended up in an older suburb of St. Louis called Kirkwood for a few years during prime Trick or Treating years for my kids and wow, did they do it right. The Thursday before Halloween kids could go from business to business in the little downtown and it was like Mardi Gras with slightly less vomit, so really fun. Thousands of kids, I swear. Then there was Halloween where it felt like the whole town went to a particular neighborhood where almost every house was decorated, or at least had people sitting in the yard handing out candy. In St. Louis, the kids were required to tell a joke before they got handed candy. And I mean required. I thought it was dumb at first, but kind of grew to like it.

Then I ended up in New England, where there were honestly fewer trick or treaters every year, but being surrounded by 300 year old houses and random cemeteries made up for it. And the school allowed me to do a haunted house as part of their fall fundraiser every year.

The thing about both of these places though, was that kids didn't even think about going out until after it was full dark. Probably 6 at the earliest. And everyone was fine. I still lived in Austin when we took our oldest out for the first time trick or treating, and the few kids that we even saw were out at about 4pm. By twilight the streets were empty, like people thought real vampires might be afoot. I assume it's still that way here for some reason, which is a bummer.

Which brings me to another question. I'm looking in the Circle C/Legend Oaks area...Do HOA's prevent you from decorating for Halloween? I know I see a ton of tacky yard balloons at Christmas everywhere, but some people don't extend the same freedom to decorating for a nonreligious holiday. Though tell me what R2D2 in a Santa hat has to do with Jesus.

Also, I can't find any threads that talk in any detail about the Middle Schools that feed into Bowie. Or Anderson for that matter. Most are 8-12 years old at this point so are probably irrelevant. Can anyone point me somewhere that might help? I'm just looking for discussion from parents, etc. about what they liked and didn't like about the schools (Bowie and Anderson, and their feeder middle schools).
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Old Today, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
13,522 posts, read 30,054,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LngHrn75 View Post
[...]
Which brings me to another question. I'm looking in the Circle C/Legend Oaks area...Do HOA's prevent you from decorating for Halloween? I know I see a ton of tacky yard balloons at Christmas everywhere, but some people don't extend the same freedom to decorating for a nonreligious holiday. Though tell me what R2D2 in a Santa hat has to do with Jesus.
I am in the Legend Oaks area and have never heard of anyone having issues. The amount of decorating varies from street to street, but just a block over from us on a major corner, the house sets up like five 10' high (or higher) inflatable Halloween decorations and about $1000 worth of other stuff (fog machines, etc). I have never heard of anyone having a problem, but you know the saying "past performance is no guarantee of future returns".

Quote:
Originally Posted by LngHrn75 View Post
Also, I can't find any threads that talk in any detail about the Middle Schools that feed into Bowie. Or Anderson for that matter. Most are 8-12 years old at this point so are probably irrelevant. Can anyone point me somewhere that might help? I'm just looking for discussion from parents, etc. about what they liked and didn't like about the schools (Bowie and Anderson, and their feeder middle schools).
Gorzycki is probably considered one of the best, if not the best MS in AISD. Clint Small (also feeding Bowie) and Murchison (feeding Andersen) are both well regarded. But they are middle schools full of middle school kids, so not much you can do about that.

As for groups with kids there discussing the schools? That is a bit harder to find. There are FB groups out there, but they are typically private and don't let in people without kids in the feeding schools or the school itself. But if you are set on those area, the MS are fine by most metrics.
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Old Today, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,989 posts, read 5,189,178 times
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It's interesting how different parts of the country do it differently. We've lived in very family-oriented neighborhoods in each place. Austin was the latest place for trick or treating we've ever lived. 6:20 pm and that was on the early side. Anderson Mill, Canyon Creek etc. I remember the first time we went out at 4:45 5pm and NO ONE WAS HOME or ready. 3 Halloweens later we knew the drill.

Colorado 4pm, everything done by 5:45pm. First halloween we were shocked when someone knocked on our door at 4pm, didn't even have candy ready. Imagine moving from that to Austin where no one answered doors until 6:15, 6:20.

Northeast: more normal times except our town differs as our elementary school lets out at 2:30pm (after having had a parade) and ALL 700 kids walk down a certain street in town that REALLY decorates and hands out $$$$ of candy in 1.5 hours. Police shuts down the streets. Basically, if you are interested in buying a house on that street, your agent tells you what's expected! Trick-or-treaters come to the rest of the houses or until 6-7pm. Lots of old victorians and colonial revivals, picturesque at Halloween with the falls leaves as well.

it also may have something to do the the sunlight. Gets darker much earlier in CO and the Northeast than it does in central TX.
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Old Today, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,939 posts, read 9,458,200 times
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Just searching the forum for Gorzycki:

https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...light=Gorzycki
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...light=Gorzycki
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...light=Gorzycki
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...light=Gorzycki
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...light=Gorzycki

Murchison threads
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...ight=Murchison
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...ight=Murchison

Thread on Bailey
https://www.city-data.com/forum/aust...ghlight=Bailey

Nothing has changed in the year these threads were commented on. Gorzycki is the best middle school in AISD. With that comes the pressures of pre-ap classes and the social scene. Bailey can be slightly gritty as they get a lot of transfers from other schools but generally is the same. Small's Green Tech is fabulous. Murchison is a bit grittier than Bailey and has had some issues within he last few years. It is few overcrowded and counselors/administration hasn't been as solid as other campuses. I've said most of the same things in all the posted threads.
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